The holiday season is the time when it is most common for people to stray from their normal eating habits, and they choose unhealthy meals and snacks because of the convenience of the holiday food. Just because you are celebrating a holiday doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your healthy food standards! With a little bit of thought, you can prepare a healthy meal to celebrate the holiday and support the health of everyone in attendance.
Here is a healthy Thanksgiving menu for you to consider:
° Organic Turkey: Of course the turkey is the focus of the meal, and you should look for an organic turkey online or at your local health food store. Organic turkeys often have better flavor and texture, and you can have the peace of mind to know that you are serving high quality meat at your meal.
° Homemade Stuffing: It might be tempting to reach for a box of instant stuffing, but it is better to make your stuffing from scratch instead. Prepackaged stuffing boxes are filled with many unhealthy ingredients, and the convenience is not worth the dangerous health impact that the additives and chemicals can have on your body! If you make homemade stuffing, you can control the ingredients that are put into the side dish. Make sure to use high quality ingredients, such as Ezekiel bread and organic vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots.
° Organic, Non-GMO Potatoes: Did you know that a large percentage of the potatoes produced in the United States are genetically modified? When you buy organic potatoes, you are purchasing non-GMO potatoes that were grown using natural methods, free of chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. Stay away from adding unhealthy ingredients to the potato dish. For example, if you choose to add butter, choose grass-fed organic butter instead of a butter substitute or conventional butter.
° Chemical-Free Gravy: One of the easiest ways to make gravy is with a packet of gravy mix, but most of these mixes are filled with unhealthy ingredients. If you look at the ingredient list and see a bunch of words that are hard to pronounce, then you shouldn’t be eating it! Instead, look for an organic brand of gravy mix from your local health food store, or make homemade gravy by using the drippings from your organic turkey.
° Green Bean Casserole: Green beans are a classic side-dish for Thanksgiving dinner, but most green bean casseroles are very unhealthy. The beans come from a can and are drenched in cream of mushroom soup. If you look at the ingredient list on the soup can, you will see that there are many unhealthy ingredients! A better option is to use fresh green beans and skip the creamy soup. Try sautéing the beans with a little bit of olive oil and some spices instead.
° Dessert: The perfect way to end Thanksgiving dinner is with pie, and it is a traditional part of the holiday meal. Most pies are filled with a lot of sugar, and they potentially have dangerous chemicals if the pie filling came from a can. Skip the canned pie filling and make a fresh pie instead. Make sure to use organic ingredients in the pie, and find a low-sugar recipe.
With a little bit of planning, you can put together a delicious and nutritious meal! Thanksgiving is a great time to create memories with your friends and family, and you can enjoy the meal without lowering your food standards.